First Look: Reconstruct
Emily Pollock posted on May 29, 2018 |
A still image from a Reconstruct project that shows both point cloud and BIM data. (Image courtesy of Reconstruct.)
A still image from a Reconstruct project that shows both point cloud and BIM data. (Image courtesy of Reconstruct.)
4D building information modeling (BIM) has become a popular buzzword lately, and one platform is aiming to make a viable product out of that buzz. Reconstruct is a browser-based platform that integrates point cloud, BIM and scheduling to give users an accurate portrait of building sites across time.

Read on for engineering.com’s First Look at the platform.


Time Warp

The timeline slider (bottom) lets users select what point in time they want to look at. (Image courtesy of Reconstruct.)
The timeline slider (bottom) lets users select what point in time they want to look at. (Image courtesy of Reconstruct.)
The browser window overlays point cloud data on BIM models, and allows users to control the opacity of both layers with a toggle. The point cloud images allow you to see the physical reality of the site, while the BIM layer allows you to look at its functionality.

One of the platform’s main selling points is the way it uses scheduling data to allow users to “time travel,” looking at both the BIM and point cloud layers at different stages of a project. If you’re interested in “traveling” back through the project to look at previous stages of construction, a slider at the bottom of the display lets you review these earlier stages of the project.

Users can upload project schedules directly from Oracle Primavera P6 or Microsoft Project management software. The platform translates written schedules into visual information, so users can see which aspects of a build site should be completed by a certain time.


Future Perfect

The platform allows you to predict areas that are at risk for not getting completedon time. (Image courtesy of Reconstruct.)
The platform allows you to predict areas that are at risk for not getting completedon time. (Image courtesy of Reconstruct.)
Reconstruct doesn’t just allow you to see what should happen on a project; its machine-learning capabilities also allow you to see what will happen.

The platform tracks past progress in specific areas and across specific trades, inputs that information into a machine-learning algorithm, and uses past performance to estimate future results. In other words, if one area of a project has caused delays in the past—or if work is progressing more slowly than expected—the platform marks it as an area of possible future delay.


Paint with all the Colors of the BIM

Areas of the BIM layer, color coded by trade and the subcontractor involved in constructing them. (Image courtesy of Reconstruct.)
Areas of the BIM layer, color coded by trade and the subcontractor involved in constructing them. (Image courtesy of Reconstruct.)
BIM areas can be color coordinated according to project information, making it easier to visualize the data. Areas that are likely to be completed on time are flagged green, whereas areas that are likely to be delayed are flagged red. BIM areas can also be color coordinated by trade or by the subcontractor working on them, making it easier to identify who’s working on which aspect of a project. The platform also allows users to color code and schedule information that’s unrelated to design but which is important to track, such as material procurement, material handling and equipment moving.


Back to Reality

Clicking on one of the camera frustums (the pyramid-shaped objects hovering around the model) allows you to see a photograph of the site from that angle. (Image courtesy of Reconstruct.)
Clicking on one of the camera frustums (the pyramid-shaped objects hovering around the model) allows you to see a photograph of the site from that angle. (Image courtesy of Reconstruct.)
The point cloud layer is created from still images of the site. To create the layer, users upload photographs from multiple angles, and the platform’s photogrammetry engine (developed specifically for use in Reconstruct) automatically compiles them into a point cloud. To look at specific images, users can click on the camera frustums floating around the model and observe the construction site from different angles.


The More We Get Together

The platform’s screenshotting and messaging capability. (Image courtesy of Reconstruct.)
The platform’s screenshotting and messaging capability. (Image courtesy of Reconstruct.)
Reconstruct has a set of collaboration tools that, hypothetically, enable users to conduct all project-related communication inside of the project file. An in-platform screenshot capability lets users take screenshots and “pin” them to a specific point in 3D space, so that they can clearly communicate about specific areas of a project. Users can also send these screenshots to each other via the platform’s messaging system, as well as perform 3D markups directly onto the project design.

The fact that Reconstruct is cloud based means that there isn’t really an “offline mode” for the platform as a whole. Nevertheless, there are still some functions that work when the platform is offline, which enable users to take screenshots, export items out to a desktop, and make reports.

Recommended For You